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I-130 and I-485 Marriage Based Petition and Adjustment of Status Approval for Filipina Client in Seattle Washington

by reybaguio on November 2, 2017

CASE: I-130 / I-485 Adjustment of Status

NATIONALITY:  Filipina

LOCATION: Seattle, WA

Our client came from the Philippines on a J-1 visa in 2008.  She got her J-1 as a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in the United States and her J-1 status made her subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. Later, she changed her status from J-1 to F-1 and maintained her non-immigrant visa status.

In 2012, she married her U.S. citizen husband. She would like to file her adjustment of status application along with her husband’s I-130 petition, however, due to her two-year foreign residency requirement, she had to get a waiver or fulfill the requirement before she files an adjustment of status application.  

Unlike our other J-1 clients, our client could not pursue her waiver under No Objection Statement or Interest Government Agency (IGA). Our client also received government funding (Fulbright Scholarship) for her research programs which made her case tougher for the No Objection Statement or IGA waiver route. Our client, though, would like to pursue her J-1 waiver based on exceptional hardship standard. In fact, our client’s U.S. citizen husband is experiencing exceptional medical hardships.

According to 8 C.F.R. Section 212.7(c)(5), “an alien who is subject to the foreign residence requirement and who believes that compliance therewith would impose exceptional hardship upon her spouse or child who is a citizen of the United States… may apply for a waiver on Form I-612.”

Some of the factors in analyzing extreme hardship are as follows: age of the subject, family ties in the U.S. and abroad, length and residency in the U.S., health / medical conditions, conditions in the country of removal – economic and political, financial status – business and occupation, position in / ties to the community. Matter of Anderson, 16 I&N Dec. 596 (BIA 1978).

After she retained our firm, we prepared and filed a waiver request through an exceptional hardship basis. On September 10, 2015 the J-1 Waiver (Form DS-3035) Application was filed to the Department of State.  Thereafter, our office prepared affidavit of our client, extensive brief in support for our client’s J-1 waiver application, and other supporting documents. Our client provided us with extensive medical documents and doctor’s reports for her U.S. citizen husband’s medical conditions.  On September 24, 2015, our office filed I-612 application to the USCIS and asked for them to issue and recommends this waiver based on the fact that our client’s husband would experience exceptional hardship if our client needs to go back to the Philippines for two years.

Eventually, the USCIS approved her I-612 waiver on December 15, 2016.

Once her J-1 waiver was approved, our client retained our office again for her adjustment of status application. Our firm prepared and filed the I-130 Petition and Adjustment of Status Application on January 4, 2017.  Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time. Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients through conference calls. On October 26, 2017, our client was interviewed at the Seattle, Washington USCIS office.  The interview went well, and eventually, on the same day of the interview, her green card application was approved.

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